Monday, 9 March 2015

While the Sun Shines

The first proper "Spring-like" day of the season arrived yesterday. And not a moment too soon. After weeks and weeks of blustery, cold, windy, rainy, even snowy weather, a glimpse of the sun was long, long overdue. So when we woke to a morning that looked like this....

View from our front porch - not too shabby
...we knew we had to get out and enjoy it! We ventured into the foothills of the Nephin Beg mountain range, which is just north of our house (only about a five minutes drive), and walked along the back lanes, through gentle, rolling hills and along hedgerows and stone fences. The views back into Newport town and of the imposing Croagh Patrick behind it were inspiring, and as we came over the last little ridge Clew Bay and its many drumlins opened up before us. It was a soul-stirring sight, as it always is, and I regretted not having my camera to hand.

After the walk was over we knew we had to take advantage of the glorious weather, so Sam got to work on his pig-pasture project (full explanation in a future post), and I got the first seeds of the season into the soil! It's still far too chilly to even consider an outdoor planting, and the risk of frost persists for a few more weeks, but I got my window beds ready to go. And, for the first time, I planted some seeds that I hope will be transplanted into their permanent homes, either outside or in the polytunnel (yet to be constructed), once the weather warms up.

I planted the following seeds yesterday (8 March 2015):
(check back in a few weeks' time for a germination and growth update)

Lettuce mix - red salad bowl, green salad bowl, lollo bionda, lolla rossa (3 pots)
Mustard leaf mix - pak choi, mizuna, tatsoi, mustards and cress (1 window box)
Corriander/cilantro (1/2 window box)
Basil (1/2 window box)
Spinach - bordeaux (2 pots)
Spinach - matador (2 pots)
Peas (1 pot)
Serrano peppers (5 starters, for eventual transplant)
Jalapeno peppers (7 starters, for eventual transplant)
Leeks (18 starters, for eventual transplant)
Cumin (6 starters, for eventual transplant)

Now to find room for them all on the window ledges....

I also resuscitated my chives plant, which had been cruelly left outside over-winter and looked soggy past the point of salvage. When I went to clear out the pot, with the intention of starting over from scratch, what did I see but little green signs of life! I divided the root-bound plant into three smaller pots, cleared away the detritus, and am hopeful it will make a full recovery.

Today, it seems that Mother Nature is back to her old tricks, as we woke up to driving rain and sustained 40 mph winds. It makes the memory of yesterday's sunshine, and the lingering scent of freshly dug dirt, that much sweeter.

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